The Surrogate by Louise Jensen #Review @fab_fiction @bookouture

The Surrogate cover

Kat and Nick are on the verge of giving up on their dream to become parents. Unable to have a child of their own, they decided to adopt a baby instead—only to be crushed after the adoptions failed to go through not once, but twice. Then Kat unexpectedly sees her old friend, Lisa—whom she hasn’t spoken to in years, for reasons readers aren’t privy to until later in the book. Rather than the upset she expected, the two women fall back into their friendship as though their estrangement never happened. The despair Kat feels over not having a child changes to hope when Lisa offers to be a surrogate for Kat and her husband. Her dream is about to come true… or is it? Lisa begins to do things that make Kat suspicious, and she wonders if her past is coming back to haunt her, but she could never have foreseen the horror that awaited her.

The Surrogate doesn’t waste any time in grabbing the reader’s attention, kicking off at a crime scene with two bodies and a murder investigation. The identity of the victims, along with how (and why) they died isn’t revealed until the end, but the ultimate reveal is WELL worth the wait. Holy guacamole… what a fantastic ending!

I’ve been a fan of Jensen’s since the start, and I loved reading both The Sister and The Gift. With a twisty plot, complex characters, and a story rooted in a poignant desire for motherhood that’s guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings, The Surrogate is her best effort yet. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

If you haven’t been reading any of these fantastic books… what are you waiting for? Like I said when she released her debut novel… you need to put Louise Jensen on your Author Radar. She is definitely deserving of a prime spot in your list!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley.

 

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Author: Louise Jensen

Title: The Surrogate

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: September 27th, 2017 by Bookouture

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

About the Book

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

About the Author

Author Louise Jensen
Author Louise Jensen

Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.

Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

Author photo and bio via Bookouture.

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Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft #Review @KatCroft @bookouture

Silent Lies cover

Five years ago, Mia Hamilton’s husband, Zach, committed suicide. On the same night, Josie Carpenter,  disappeared and was thought to have been murdered by her university teacher—Zach Hamilton. The coincidence of Josie’s disappearance and Zach’s suicide happening on the same night had everyone convinced Zach murdered Josie and disposed of her body before committing suicide. Josie’s body was never found and there was no absolute proof Zach murdered her, but the discovery of his corpse in Josie’s flat was enough for most people to believe it.

Five years later Mia is a counselor and in love with a man named Will, whom both she and her daughter, Freya, adore. Mia is starting to feel she can put the past behind her when she meets a new client named Alison who drops a bombshell during her first counseling session—saying Zach didn’t kill himself, only to deny having said it moments later.

Desperate for answers yet unsure if Alison can be trusted, Mia is determined to find out what Alison knows, and if she’s telling the truth. As she learns more about Alison, she questions her agenda and fears for her own safety—but she can’t stop until she finds out what Alison knows about the night Josie disappeared and Zach died.

Full of secrets, deceptions, and jaw-dropping plot twists, Silent Lies is guaranteed to keep you reading through the wee hours of the night. The story is told from the perspectives of Mia (in the present) and Josie (five years ago) in alternating chapters. While both perspectives are interesting, I found myself far more captivated by Josie’s tale. She went through something truly horrific in her past, and to see the way she coped with that—let alone, everything else she faced in her everyday life—was simply fascinating to me. Through her interactions with Zach, we see the sort of person he was, and even get glimpses of the way Mia was in the past in the rare moments he talks about her. The more I learned about Josie, the more theories I had about that fateful night, and her role in it.

Alison—who features in both perspectives—definitely kept me on my toes. Just when I thought I had her all figured out, something would happen to change my mind. She is definitely a complex character who constantly gives you a feeling of unease every time she shows up.

I can’t say why, of course, but the ending totally blew my mind! I was so shocked, I actually had to reread several paragraphs to make sure I hadn’t read it wrong. Just… WOW.

If you love psychological thrillers, you definitely need to add this one to your TBR pile!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley.

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Author: Kathryn Croft

Title: Silent Lies

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: October 25th, 2017 by Bookouture

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Book

‘Your husband didn’t kill himself.’
Five years rebuilding your life. Five words will destroy it again.

Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter, Freya. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students, Josie Carpenter, vanished.

Five years later, and Josie is still missing but Mia has finally found some happiness with new boyfriend Will.

Until one day when stranger Alison walks into her life and tells Mia that her husband didn’t kill himself.

Desperate to find out what really happened to Zach, Mia is forced to put her trust in Alison. But she soon discovers that Alison has her own agenda behind exposing the details of Zach’s death. Can Mia really believe anything Alison says?

Mia must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover the truth – even if she risks losing everything she loves.

About the Author

Kathryn Croft
Kathryn Croft

Kathryn worked in HR and management training before her passion for literature led her to train as an English teacher. She spent six years teaching secondary school English; a job she believes was invaluable to her writing career. Kathryn now devotes all her time to writing.

Author photo and bio via Bookouture.

Liar by K.L. Slater #Review @KimLSlater @bookouture

Liar cover

Since the death of his wife, Ben has relied on help given by his mother, Judi, who cleans his home and cares for her grandsons regularly. All that changes when Ben meets Amber, however. Judi goes from being a constant presence in their lives to someone they occasionally spend time with—and she knows it’s all because of Amber. But why is she doing it, and what can Judi do about it?

Wow, what a book! LIAR kicks off with a bloody bang—someone covered in blood, dead on the floor, and someone else standing over them with a knife… feeling nothing. The end is literally the beginning. It’s not until the (actual) end of the book that we find out who’s who, and what brought on the murder, because the next chapter starts at the beginning of the story.

Amber and Judi are both unlikable characters to some degree, but that isn’t strictly due to their interactions with one another, in Judi’s case. I was annoyed with her sometimes for being a bit too clingy with her son and grandsons, or for being upset at the way things changed in her son’s home after Amber came along—such as the new furniture. It absolutely made sense that Judi would feel that way about it, given the way she was, but it still got on my nerves. (Or maybe I felt that way because Judi had already annoyed me in other ways? Hmm. Probably.) That’s not to say that I didn’t feel sympathetic towards Judi. I did quite often because—whether she was a clingy mother or not—not being allowed to spend time with your loved ones is a hurtful thing, indeed.

Amber struck me as a manipulative woman with an agenda immediately, and I instantly decided there couldn’t possibly be any redeeming factors about her whatsoever. As I slowly learned more about her, however, I had a feeling there was more to Amber than meets the eye.

A lot happens throughout this story, but the last quarter of the book… holy crap! The twists kept on coming, and just when I thought nothing else could happen that would shock me, it did. I was completely blindsided and blown away by a certain event, and scared away at least one life for each of my cats when I yelled “WHAT?!” at the top of my lungs. I had to go back and reread that portion again, because I couldn’t believe what happened. I never saw it coming, and I loved it!

If you’re ready for an insanely addicting psychological thriller that will knock you off your feet, you need look no further than LIAR by K.L. Slater. This fantastic book hooks you from the start and never lets go. Highly recommended!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley.

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Author: K.L. Slater

Title: Liar

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: June 16th, 2017 by Bookouture

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About the Book

How far would you go to protect your family?

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage.

Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.

Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.


About the Author

kl_slater
Author K.L. Slater

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

Author photo and bio via Bookouture.